My goodness, what’s that protuberance growing out of my big toe??? Oh, no, it’s a bunion. And though it may look like an alien trying to push its way out the side of your foot, in actuality what’s happening is that the bursa (fluid containing sac in the inside of the metarsal head) has swollen and a bony deformity has grown on the inside of your big toe joint.
If you’re interested in medical terminology, you might like to know that the term “hallux valgus” or “hallux abducto valgus” are the most commonly used medical terms to describe the bunion deformity. ‘Hallux’ refers to the big toe, ‘valgus’ refers to the abnormal rotation of the big toe, and ‘abducto’ refers to the abnormal drifting or leaning of the big toe towards the second toe.
Medical terms aside, what you’ll see is redness, swelling in your bunion joint and possible shifting of your big toe towards the other toes. What you’ll feel is skin irritation surrounding the joint and joint pain. When you put your shoes on, and if they’re tight, this pain can be quite irritating.
There are many ways to treat bunions – most of them ineffective. These include: padding and shielding the bunion joint, rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and steroid injections. At some point you that realize none of these are working and resort to changing the type of shoes you wear. Finally you decide you’re tired of wearing extra wide shoes and start thinking about bunion surgery.
Before you take that step, you need to know that bunion surgery doesn’t get rid of your bunion(s) – at least not permanently. All that trouble of going under the knife, plus a long and painful recovery, and in three to five years time, your bunion will most likely return.
Why is this? Because bunion surgery does not remove what’s causing your bunions. If you’re serious about getting rid of them, you need to first know what’s causing them and then effectively treat this cause.
What Causes Bunions
People who wear pointy toe shoes and high heels often complain of bunions. But it’s not usually shoes that actually create the bunions. Shoes merely accelerate these shifts in the metatarsal and big toe, further aggravating an existing condition.
In most cases, two factors must be present before a bunion deformity can develop:
(1) Excessive foot twist
(2) Out toeing/outward pointing of the feet (an abducted foot position)
Excessive foot twist (pronation) disrupts the structural stability of your entire foot. In essence, your foot twist allows your big toe to float towards the second toe. And usually this happens when your feet are excessively pointing outwards (abducted).
This outward pointing of your foot, in the presence of foot twist, can dramatically distort the structure of your 1st metatarsophalangeal joint (the joint where the bunion is). That is, the metatarsal bone shifts inward and the big toe (hallux) shifts outward (the classic bunion deformity). See photo above.
In order to effectively treat your bunion and eliminate your pain, the cause of your excessive foot twist must be addressed.
The two most common causes of foot twist are the Rothbart’s Foot and the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.
And the only effective therapy to eliminate foot twist resulting from these foot structures is Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy. You can learn about these abnormal foot structures and read about my therapy on this site.
Reading the Curing Chronic Pain website will give you more information about the abnormal foot structures Professor/Dr. Rothbart discovered that cause many forms of chronic muscle and joint pain and help you determine whether an Initial Phone Consultation with him might be helpful.
For a more complete explanation of the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, read: Abnormal Foot Structures That Cause Chronic Pain.
As you learn more about Professor/Dr. Rothbart’s innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting muscle and joint pain.
If you have questions about what’s involved in being treated with Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy by long distance, see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page by clicking here.
If you would like to contact Professor/Dr. Rothbart regarding an appointment to resolve your chronic muscle and joint pain, click here.
Professor/Dr. Brian A. Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of the International Academy of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Free Excerpt from Professor/Dr. Rothbart’s second book, The Foot’s Connection To Chronic Pain